Get In Her Ears Live @ The Victoria, 14.10.22

Following September’s gig at The Shacklewell Arms with the driving ethereal soundscapes of Gemma Cullingford, our October installment of GIHE live saw us return to The Victoria in Dalston for what felt like a super special night filled with the best music, best people and best vibes. Massive thanks to Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something, KIN and Trouble Wanted, and to everyone who came down to pack out the venue and helped make it a night to remember.

Here, Mandy Bang writes a few words about the night to accompany Jon Mo’s fantastic pics…

It’s Friday night and The Victoria is packed – a glass smashes on the dancefloor and is carefully kicked aside by revellers determined to have a good time. Tonight’s opening band conjure a murky dive bar on the wrong side of the tracks: the saloon doors unexpectedly swing open, everyone turns to look up at the new arrivals, jaws drop, gasps are audible… there’s a new stranger in town – Trouble Wanted.

The London-based five-piece have just one song available on their Bandcamp page, but, when it’s the “sexy, queer exchange between Lonely Cowgirl and a mysterious dyke trucker”, it’s one hell of a special treat. Live, Trouble Wanted blend menacing basslines, dreamy guitar touches, dancing drums, sexy synths and the occasional burst of alluring saxophone with semi-spoken vocals. Lucy sings of unrequited lust and dysfunctional mother/child relationships and pistol-whips songs with loaded humour. By the end of their set they have encouraged the whole room to shake off their inhibitions as we all sing “I want you in my bed” with wild abandon!

Tonight is Ritu Arya’s last gig with KIN, who played their second ever show for GIHE back in 2019. The band dedicate the drummer’s favourite song to her and later in their set proceed to initiate their first crowd sing-along during a cover of Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’.

The release of the trio’s new single, ‘Soapdish’, coincides with tonight’s gig and is a melancholy ramble through a relationship that is better to be left behind, as singer/keyboardist Grace asserts, “I’m not going to change my mind”. In amongst KIN’s atmospheric indie pop, there are sparse guitar echoes which momentarily bring to mind unexpected eerie Bauhaus vibes. Meanwhile, their 2020 single, ‘L.O.V.E.’, possesses the kind of upbeat energy that demands to drive us to sunny days spent dancing on a beach somewhere far out of reach.

Our final act of the night is Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something and Jemma’s party look this evening is demonic jester with a touch of Jaz Coleman of Killing Joke fame. The trio put on a frantic display of musicianship with psychedelic and garage rock leanings, skipping from one catchy song into the next which throws the audience into an array of shapes.

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to know”, declares Jemma before shredding so enthusiastically a guitar string breaks. Jemma conducts the quickest string change ever carried out by a musician mid-set, whilst the bassist and drummer keep an impressive backbeat flowing. One gets the impression that this rhythm section could quite happily lay down a two-hour instrumental jam as if performing at a ’70s music festival. Jemma, seemingly impressed by said bandmates’ calm professionalism, exclaims, “I don’t really need to be here“.

Jemma’s in-between song banter hints at a vulnerable front person with an awkward confidence. Lyrics are laced with self-deprecating humour and a composition from the band’s upcoming new album, ‘Miffed’, is a tale of a bad Tinder date that involved getting locked in a park – “Sounds exciting, but it’s not good”, they assure us before dedicating ‘Lump’ to “weird and petty gay people – like me!”.

Rather than the rallying ‘girls to the front’ mantra, Jemma encourages each audience member to look behind them and to move aside if those behind are struggling to see the band bathed in orange, green and blue lighting. I’ve only ever been at one other gig where the band has been this wonderfully thoughtful (namely Dream Wife) and Jemma half-jokes that it took ten years of therapy to ascertain: “I’m five-foot two-inches tall and I’m going to take up space and be unafraid“. A sentiment that gets a huge cheer from this crowd.

Big thanks to all three of the incredibly fantastic bands on Friday night! As for us, our next gig will be at the Sebright Arms next month with a lush line-up of Breakup Haircut, Piney Gir and BCOS RSNS on 17th November. Tickets can be nabbed over on Dice and we’ll see you down the front!

Words: Mandy Bang / @mandybang
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophotography

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Victoria w/ Nikki & The Waves, 12.08.22

Following a heartwarmingly fantastic July in which we were able to raise £500 for Abortion Support Network from our sold out gigs with Charmpit and ARXX, we returned to The Victoria for the first of our August live events. Hosting Manchester based Nikki & The Waves with support from Birmingham duo First Frontier and GIHE faves Panic Pocket, it may have been a hot night, but it was full of all the coolest vibes with these three wonderful bands and the lovely folk who came out to support them!

Kicking things off in the refreshingly air-conned venue, duo Sophie Peacock and Natalie Healey – aka Panic Pocket – deliver their uplifting, synth-driven indie-pop with all the twinkling charm and tongue-in-cheek wit we’ve come to know and love. With subjects ranging from gatecrashing boyfriends to the anxious British need to apologise, each shimmering offering lilts with sugar-sweet harmonies and the duo’s infectious charm, and – being treated to some new numbers that I’d not yet heard – it’s a perfectly smile-inducing way to start the evening.

Next up, Birmingham based duo First Frontier deliver their fuzzed-out garage-rock with a an immense, driving energy. As Paul’s scuzzy hooks whirr alongside Helena’s fierce, thrashing beats, they’re able to create a swirling sense of optimism with each empowering offering and their vibrant charisma, and I can’t wait to hear more.

Headlining, we’re super thankful that Nikki & The Waves have made the long, very sweaty journey from Manchester to play for us tonight! With a vibrant, retro charm and joyous energy, they create unique funk-fuelled indie-pop as each of the seven band members contribute to a shimmering musical cacophony. Oozing a blissful allure – with shades of an eclectic array of influences, from early hip-hop to Lily Allen – the set comes complete with swooping trombone solos, colourful keys, sparkling harmonies and a relatable witty lyricism; perfect for shimmying along under the air-con, and showcasing all there is to love about this truly magnificent collective.

Huge thanks to three wonderful bands who played for us on Friday and to anyone who made it out to support them! We’re back at it this coming Saturday 20th August at The Cavendish Arms w/ phenomenal Australian duo Mannequin Death Squad, with support from Maya Lakhani and brand new ‘supergroup’, Dogviolet – nab tickets here!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Paul Dawes / @paullikesrobots

LIVE: Charmpit @ Sebright Arms, 08.07.2022

On Friday we had the absolute honour of hosting DIY legends Charmpit’s last ever London gig at Sebright Arms. With support from total faves Bitch Hunt and indie ‘tweecore’ outfit adults, it was truly a wonderful night – with so many familiar faces from the community coming together to celebrate a band who have been such an inspiration and joy for so many. And to sellout was a a total dream – huge thanks and big love to the three beautiful bands and to everyone who joined us for this memorable night filled with all the best vibes and bittersweet emotions!

Opening the night, Bitch Hunt deliver an empowering, cathartic set. Despite not having had the simplest of weeks (graduations, minor surgeries and struggles on public transport all contributing to stress levels), they radiate a blissful energy as each scuzzy punk-pop offering – reflecting on themes ranging from being non-binary and losing loved ones, to men who take up too much space – tugs at the heartstrings and fills the venue with a joyous sense of unity. Expressing their love of Charmpit and reflecting on memories of First Timers fest in between tracks, it’s a perfect start to what turns out to be a perfect night.

Next up, South London’s adults blast onto the stage with all the fuzzy energy you could ever desire. With both vocalists donning matching Charmpit ‘Anarchism Is For Lovers’ tees, and even treating us to a cover of the beloved headliners, they deliver half an hour of glistening, indie-pop perfection. Simultaneously oozing a lilting, uplifting scuzz with a poignant, angst-driven rage at the state of the world, each track twinkles with a sparkling drive as relatable lyrics about mutual aid and looking out for each other in hard times flow with heartfelt emotion alongside infectious, jangling hooks.

And then it’s Charmpit‘s turn to play their last ever London gig… Emotions run high in the packed out space as their sparkling charisma and vibrant energy instantly flow from the stage, filling the venue with an all-encompassing euphoric splendour. As they treat us to a set of career-spanning classic DIY anthems, it’s an utter joy to see the crowd dance, sing (and cry) together to this band who have meant so much to all of us over the years. From earlier colourful offerings such as ‘Buckfast My Heart’ and ‘Margot’ (who is now 7 and president of her Climate Society at school), to tracks from their latest (and last…) album Cause A Stir, each track oozes the band’s trademark shimmering, colourful zest and playfully quirky wit, whilst touching on stirring themes such as toxic relationships, true friendship and anarchy. Despite the sadness at this being the last time we will all be together in a room dancing to Charmpit, it’s a truly joyous occasion – celebrating all there is to love about this inspiring, adorable and innovative group whose uplifting bubblegum pop tunes have healed, helped and motivated so many. Having followed their career from the start, and with fond memories of them playing live for us at The Finsbury back in 2017, it’s a total honour to host this incredibly special event dedicated to these four wonderful humans who have played such a pivotal part in the London DIY community over the last decade.

What more can I say… Thank you to the three truly wonderful bands, to all who came out and – most importantly – thank you to CHARMPIT! We love you so much; thank you for all the music and the inspiration that will stay with us forever. It was a joy to host this event and to see so many lovely familiar faces!

Join us in a couple of weeks when we’ll be back at The Shacklewell Arms with total faves ARXX, with support from Fräulein and Lusa Morena – tickets selling fast, so make sure you get yours on DICE now! And then we will be at The Victoria on 12th August to dance the night away with Nikki & The Waves, BAXTR and Panic Pocket – you should also nab tickets for that soon too!

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photo Credit: David Harris / @chopstick68

Get In Her Ears Live at The Shacklewell Arms w/ Fightmilk, 24.03.2022

On Friday, we were back at The Shacklewell Arms in Dalston with a total dream of a line-up. Fightmilk, Bitch Hunt and Sassyhiya treated us to a joyous few hours of live music. Huge thanks to them all, and to all the lovely folk who came out to support them and fill the venue… We’re still feeling all the feels, and are extremely grateful to everyone who made it such a beautiful night.

First up, Sassyhiya offer up their uplifting, jangly post-punk. Consisting of two former members of Barry (Kathy and Helen) plus Neil and Pablo, the band’s first ever gig proves to be a great success as the crowd smile and sway along to their twinkling hooks and buoyant, quirky energy.

Having last played live at a gig for us back in October 2019, it’s such a joy to welcome Bitch Hunt back to the stage. And what a wonderful return to live music it is. Radiating a blissful, cathartic energy they fill the venue with their scuzzy punk-pop offerings covering poignant topics ranging from men taking up too much space, to reflections on being non-binary and stirring odes to loved ones no longer with us. A truly euphoric set from these First Timers Fest alumni.

Headlining the night are Bitch Hunt’s Reckless Yes label mates, and total faves, Fightmilk. The third time they’ve played for us, it’s an utter delight to finally see them perform some of the tracks from their latest album Contender live, as well as some old favourites (and a couple of surprise covers!). Blasting out their anthemic indie-pop with an endearing tongue-in-cheek wit, each offering fizzes with the band’s trademark vibrant energy and colourful charisma. From fuzzy love songs to tirades against Elon Musk and bridezillas, Fightmilk bring a refreshing honesty and gritty raw emotion to their jangling melodies and the smooth-yet-husky charm of front-person Lily’s vocals, showcasing their ability to continuously refine their sound and, in the process, consistently continue to win my heart. Plus, I don’t think I ever thought I’d be aged 35 and in a venue filled with people joyously dancing and singing along to Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’, but I was and it was pretty magnificent.

Huge love and thanks again to all three bands who played for us on Friday, and to everyone who came out to share the music and good vibes. We’re taking a little break next month, but will be back at the Shacklewell Arms on 6th May with the return of The Menstrual Cramps, supported by pink suits and Queen Cult – nab your tickets on DICE now.

Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto
Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles